Taming the Holidays


You know it’s coming. In fact, it’s already here.

The holiday season.

We’re feeling the hustle, bustle, and rush to start (and finish) shopping, organize meal plans, accept invites to friends’ get-togethers, and schedule family visits, along with the necessary travel arrangements. Annual greeting cards, each one containing short, semi-personal notes, waiting to be addressed, sealed, and stamped. Office parties and school events, disrupting our routines and diverting our focus.

So what do we do about maintaining our “normal” life, the one we’ve worked so hard to keep on track?

Good question.

Unfortunately, it can be too easy for the holiday season to become an excuse to break our stride and put our hard-earned discipline on hold. We might even decide to suspend our most important goals and habits in deference to the pressure of the next few months.

But you don’t have to. Stay calm—you can do this …

This time of year, we experience the same, often predictable distractions. And many of us give ourselves “temporary permission” to succumb to the chaos. Here are a few suggestions to stay balanced and healthy, despite the seductions of the season.

  1. Say “Yes” to the events and parties you truly want to attend, and “No” to the ones that are obligatory or unnecessary. You don’t need to explain your choices and, if pressed, simply say your calendar is full and you look forward to participating next year.
  2. Keep your healthy food and diet goals intact. I know this is a hard one and, granted, you probably won’t be able to “toe the line” every day. Neither will I. But adopting a few general guidelines will make it easier to maintain some degree of self-control. For example, when eating, use a small plate to keep serving sizes reasonable, choose veggies instead of potatoes, and skip the heavy gravies and rolls. Offer to bring healthy food options, and eat those.
  3. Drink more water than wine or cocktails. Remember, alcohol is calorie-laden (5 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight) and it’s best to indulge in moderation. When going to a party or dinner, bring green tea and lemon slices or a vitamin-enriched sport drink (preferably one with no added sugar, fructose, or aspartame). Remember to stay hydrated, and use a wine glass to create a festive mood.
  4. Find pockets of time to exercise. It’s even more important to make health a priority during the holidays by integrating fitness into your day. Keep a gym bag in your car and fit in a short workout. Clear a small space at home and do a few stretches, light weight reps, or yoga. You’ll feel better and have more energy to keep going!
  5. Maintain a healthy sleep regimen. While your holiday calendar will likely put your schedule through a few twists and turns, making sure you get enough sleep is vital to restoring and revitalizing your body.

Enjoy the holidays, connect with family and friends, and cherish the fun, laughter, and new memories you’ll make. It’s okay to be flexible when necessary, and do your best to stay focused on your long-term goals.

Keep it healthy,


Jill Reid
Kitchen Spirit